Post office woes; lead pipe replacement slow; Wisconsin COVID-19 deaths pass 1,000; state’s farmers may seal Trump’s fate; GOP backs Kanye’s bid
Of note: This week we highlight a collaboration with Wisconsin Watch and APM Reports that documents delivery delays and missing ballots plaguing the U.S. Postal Service in Wisconsin and other swing states. In the past two statewide elections, hundreds of absentee ballots have been lost in transit in Wisconsin. And newly released figures show the postal district covering Wisconsin has one of the worst on-time delivery rates in the country. This sub-par performance is raising concerns about the ability of the postal service to properly deliver the tsunami of mail-in ballots expected to be cast in November as millions of voters stay away from the polls during the pandemic.
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Postal delays, errors in Wisconsin and other swing states loom over election
Wisconsin Watch/APM Reports — August 13, 2020
Based on its own performance measures — and the loss of hundreds of Wisconsin ballots on their way to voters this summer — the U.S. Postal Service has its work cut out for it before Election Day. Among the 13 postal districts serving key presidential battleground states, four failed to meet any on-time service goals handling first-class mail between April 1 and June 30, and six districts achieved only one.
How Suffering Farmers May Determine Trump’s Fate
The New Yorker — August 10, 2020
Last October, Jerry Volenec, a dairy farmer from southwestern Wisconsin, took the morning off to go to Madison for the World Dairy Expo, an annual cattle-judging contest and trade show. Volenec wanted to hear a town hall discussion led by Sonny Perdue, President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture, to learn how the Administration planned to address the economic crisis gripping Wisconsin’s family dairy farmers. Volenec voted for Trump in 2016, but the message for farmers from Perdue — go big or go out of business — solidified Volenec’s decision not to vote for him again.
Milwaukee significantly behind in project to replace 1,100 lead pipes by end of year
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service — August 11, 2020
The city is significantly behind in its goal to replace 1,100 lead pipes by the end of the year, exacerbated in part by the ongoing pandemic, Milwaukee officials say. As of Aug. 10, only 333 lines have been replaced, according to data on the Milwaukee Water Works website.
As Wisconsin marks 1,000 Covid-19 deaths, a look at some lives we lost
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — August 13, 2020
The devastating impact of COVID-19 has been splayed across maps, compiled into contact tracing charts and predicted with curves that flatten — or don’t. But in the end, it’s always been about people whose lives were cut short, sometimes with shocking suddenness and without their loved ones nearby. On Tuesday, Wisconsin passed 1,000 deaths from COVID-19, and with it, we wanted to pause and reflect on some of the lives and legacies we’ve lost.
Kanye West’s presidential bid bolstered by Republican operatives in at least five states
Washington Post — August 9, 2020
One elector trying to get rapper Kanye West on the presidential ballot in Wisconsin is married to a former chairwoman of a Republican county committee and was photographed with President Donald Trump at his inaugural. In Arkansas, a Republican operative who signed West’s ballot petition was at one point interviewed to be Trump’s campaign manager for his 2016 bid. And West’s ballot petition in Ohio was signed by a lawyer who has previously represented state Republican campaign committees.
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